Best picture Oscar contenders set in one place, shot in another

Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

This year's Oscar-nominated movies, especially larger-than-life epics such as "Atonement" and "There Will Be Blood," take you there -- but exactly where? Like actors' doubles, films often are shot in breathtaking locations that are stand-ins for the real thing. Here's how this year's best picture nominees stack up.


Care for a dramatic dip in the fountain a la Keira Knightley at the spectacular British estate featured in the film? Head to Stokesay Court in Shropshire, England, the spectacular Victorian mansion where much of the 1935-era scenes were filmed in this tale of love, loss and war. The estate is hosting "Atonement"-themed tours; check out To revel in the film's lush countryside, knock around Shropshire in the West Midlands, one of the most rural areas of England.

The stand-in: One of the films biggest scenes -- the 1940 invasion of Dunkirk during World War II -- wasn't shot anywhere near France. About 1,000 extras invaded Redcar Beach in Teesside in northeastern England to re-create the World War II moment, according to For more information on places in the film, go to

"There Will Be Blood"

This film mostly was shot in Marfa, Texas, the backdrop of another oil-themed epic film, "Giant" (1956), according to ImdbPro.

The stand-in: Daniel Day-Lewis plays a turn-of-the-century prospector who becomes a California oil man, but many of the movie's scenes were filmed in the dusty West Texas town and Albuquerque, N.M. One notable exception: A two-lane bowling alley scene at the 1928-era Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills.

"No Country for Old Men"

The bleak Texas landscape for the Coen brothers' adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's book about a drug deal gone wrong was shot partly -- yes, you guessed it -- in Marfa, Texas, according to ImdbPro.

The stand-in: Areas in and around Albuquerque and particularly Las Vegas, N.M., doubled for small Texas towns along the U.S.-Mexico border. Other Texas locations in the film include Big Bend National Park and Eagle Pass.


That leafy neighborhood and community where actress Ellen Page works out her teen pregnancy crisis in this quirky film was meant to be suburban Minnesota.

The stand-in: The film was shot in and around Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, specifically Burnaby, Port Coquitlam and White Rock, ImdbPro reports.

"Michael Clayton"

Moviegoers will easily recognize New York City as the backdrop of this legal thriller starring George Clooney that centers on corporate intrigue. Though most of the filming was in Manhattan, the scene with horses on a grassy ridge was set in Schunemunk State Park in nearby Cornwall, N.Y., according to producer Jennifer Fox. No location stand-ins per se, but who would notice with all the onscreen tension?

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